Uppercase

Uppercase text exampleAlternatively referred to as caps and capital, uppercase (UC) is a typeface of larger characters. For example, a, b, and c is lowercase, and A, B, and C is uppercase. Pressing the caps lock key change between upper and lowercase characters or pressing the shift key while pressing a letter makes that letter capitalized.

Tip: It is bad etiquette to have everything you type in ALL UPPERCASE CHARACTERS. When reading anything typed in all caps, most readers assume you are YELLING or just find the text hard to read.

Why is capitalization important with computers?

Passwords

Passwords are case sensitive to add an extra level of security. If your caps lock key was enabled while creating your password and disabled while trying to log in the next day, you would not be able to log into your account.

File names, directories, and paths

When dealing with file names, directories, and paths in many operating systems and paths while online they are case sensitive. For example, in Microsoft Windows nothing is case sensitive. However, when uploading a file to the Internet, the files and directories become case sensitive. For example, the file name of this web page is "uppercase.htm" and must be typed in all lowercase in the URL while online. However, if you were viewing the file locally on a Windows computer the capitalization does not matter.

Measurements

When dealing with computer measurements and other measurements capitalization is important for identifying the exact type of measurement. For example, "Mb" (short for Megabit) and "MB" (short for Megabyte) are two different types of measurements with different values.

Commands

Command line commands in operating systems like Linux are case sensitive, which means if you typed "Ls" to list file you would get an error since the ls command is all lower case.

Using the uc command

Many programming and scripting languages use the uc command to convert a variable into uppercase. For example, in the example below is how the uc and ucfirst command can be used in Perl.

my $example = "hello world";
print "$example\n";
$example = ucfirst($example);
print "$example\n";
$example = uc($example);
print "$example\n";

In the above example, the $example variable is set to all lowercase. The third line uppercases the first character making the text "Hello World", and the fifth line uppercases the whole string making the text "HELLO WORLD".

Related pages

Also see: Caps lock, Case, Case sensitive, Character, Font, Lowercase, Typography terms